Fit And Well Idaho: Importance Of Hospitals In Rural Communities


By Brittany Cooper

Gooding, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Minutes and seconds count when it comes to saving lives in times of emergency. North Canyon Medical Center has been serving the residents of Gooding County for three years. Recently the hospital created a video telling the story of how trauma impacted the lives of one local family. The video shows how important a hospital is in a rural setting.

Johnny Pavkov was riding his dirt bike on a county road and was hit by a pick–up truck. Medical experts say he suffered severe life–threatening injuries to nearly every organ system in his body. A collapsed lung left emergency staff at North Canyon Medical Center with nearly minutes to correct.

Jay Blacksher, Emergency Room Physician Assistant, North Canyon Medical Center says, "had we not had this exceptional medical services program, he would have not survived to even wait for the helicopter."

These life–saving moments happen at rural hospitals throughout the country.

Blacksher adds, "in small rural communities, emergency care is absolutely essential; it's the cornerstone of healthcare in the community."

But Blacksher tells us the first 60 minutes in the ER are the same at any hospital.

"In a true life–threatening emergency when seconds count, you need care that's there and available...whether you're in boise or twin falls, it's about stabilizing the patient, making the diagnosis and intervening to save their lives."

Emergency responders can respond to locations in Gooding within 5 minutes, not the case for outlying communities.

"If you're responding to Wendell, Bliss and Hagerman, response times can be much longer and in the winter, we're challenged with road conditions that can sometimes extend the response time to the scene as much as 35 minutes, 45 minutes."

Providing access to healthcare when minutes can make all the difference.

The 'Importance of Healthcare in a Rural Community' is available for viewing. Please visit

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